Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, said in New Delhi today that the model Agriculture Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2017 was released to the states on April 24, 2017, and had received a positive response regarding its adoption from all states. He suggested that states could declare the warehouses as market sub-yards so that the farmers can store surpluses and sell directly without having to transport the produce to the Agricultural Produce Market Committee (APMC) yards. In order to address the constraints of present agricultural marketing system promoted by APMCs and assuring accessible marketing facilities to farmers, the Government, he added had shared a corrective reform with the states.
Addressing the National Agriculture Marketing Summit on the theme ‘Regenerating Agriculture through Smart Marketing Solutions – To Double Farmers’ Income’, organised by FICCI with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Government of India, the Minister said that famers had not been getting the corresponding increase in remuneration. The government was aware of the urgent requirement of strengthening market systems to reduce post-harvest losses to enable famers to tide over both situations of bumper production leading to a glut and abrupt price fall and incidences of less production resulting in the availability of meagre surplus.
Singh said the approach adopted encompasses both adoptions of cost effective production and diversifying agriculture towards growing of high-value crops, agroforestry, rearing of livestock, poultry, fisheries, etc, as well as creating accessible and efficient markets to ensure better price realisation to the farmers through a robust value supply chain. He added that the government empathised with farmers and for that purpose had formulated farmer welfare centric programmes and policies, which was equally related to food security and price security.
He said that only through cross-pollination of expertise and innovations and thereafter synergy during implementation of the programmes conceived in mission mode, the goal set for the country of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 is achievable.
On the occasion, a FICCI Knowledge Paper ‘Agriculture Marketing – An Overview and Way Forward’ was released by the Minister.
Prabhu Lal Saini, Minister for Agriculture, Government of Rajasthan said that though a desert state, Rajasthan was fast gaining ground in the area of crop diversification and was among the top producers of some of the crops such as coriander and mustard.
Saini said that the Government of Rajasthan in collaboration with FICCI had successfully hosted Global Rajasthan Agritech Meet (GRAM) in 2016 in Jaipur and in Kota this year, where farmers were exposed to best agriculture practices. The event brought together the stakeholders to accelerate development of sustainable agricultural and allied activities through innovative methods and best practices.
RV Kanoria, Chairman & MD, Kanoria Chemicals & Industries & Past President, FICCI, said that technology would play a key role in empowering farmers and augmenting productivity in India. There was a need for newer approach to strengthen agriculture marketing system, where the synergies of both the public sector and the private sector are harnessed for the benefit of farmers. He urged private players need to step forward and look at developing private mandis and come aboard e-NAM (National Agriculture Market). He added that there was a need for creating linkages and developing infrastructure.
Shilpa Divekar Nirula, Chair, FICCI National Committee on Agriculture and CEO, Monsanto India said that enabling policies for access to inputs, credit, markets and innovations will result in increased productivity, profitability and growth. With changes in production scenario it is necessary to have effective agricultural marketing reforms to ensure that the farming is remunerative. She added that infrastructure was needed to be created and it was to forge partnerships between private and public sectors.
Samir Shah, Co-Chairman, FICCI National Agriculture Committee & MD & CEO, NCDEX, said that the launch of e-NAM would help in creating a unified national market for agricultural commodities. The emphasis on digitalisation would usher in a new avenue to strengthen market information system by involving private sectors. Also with GST in place now, it would facilitate a free moving market which would have far-reaching implications on agriculture as well.
Dr. A Didar Singh, Secretary General, FICCI and Vinay Mathur, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI, also shared their perspectives on the topic.